Regulations of Ascents & Descents
Books No.1, No. 2 and No. 3
[1815-Ca. 1845]

City Archives of Philadelpia
Will become part of Record Group 90

A compilation of sewer information
contained in these volumes

Adam Levine
Philadelphia Water Department/Public Education Division

Since I looked at the first two volumes before I looked at the third volume, my understanding of the dates accompanying these plans was different. I have therefore left my original explanation for each section. The first two volumes are on temporary loan to the Philadelphia Water Department, and have not been entered into the City Archives catalogue. The third volume of frargments from Book No. 3 had not been catalogued as of 1998, when I last viewed them.

Regulations of Ascents & Descents
Books No.1 and No. 2

Ledger books containing survey plans for street grades, sewers and miscellaneous other projects in the old Philadelphia. Some plans contain two dates. The first is probably the date of the actual survey, and the second later date at the end of the description, probably when the plan was presented to or passed by City Councils. In most cases I've used the latter date, though it might be helpful to go back and enter both dates, especially if it can be determined exactly what they mean.

Book No.1

72 pages, hand numbered. Some pages include more than one plan. This volume has some interesting miscellaneous items tucked into the back. I listed all the plans up to page 30; but as this became too time-consuming, I thereafter listed only pages on which drawings of sewers appeared.

[Cedar Street, steamboat landing, no date]
1. Plan of proposed pier and sewer along city dock on line of Cedar Street, at landing of Red Bank Steamboat Ferry Company. "Estimated cost $5,500" No date

[Ninth Street between Race and Vine, 1815]
2. "We the undersigned Mayor Aldermen and City regulators having met together and viewed the Regulation of Ninth Street between Race and Vine, of Chester Street, and Maple Street in the Square between Race and Vine, Eighth and Ninth Street for the purpose of establishing the same preparatory to paving--Do find the altitudes above the assumed plane at the intersections of the different Streets with the Ratio of descent as the same is expressed in the above delineation--June 29, 1815...The depth of gutter at the summit in Chester Street not to exceed four inches"
(with signatures including Reading Howell, Samuel G. Hains, Alphonso C. Ireland, Robert Marton, Mayor and four aldermen) [This is an example of the language and style of most of the plans]

[Union Street, bewteen Second and Third, 1816]
3 left. "Regulation...Union Street between Second and Third sts for the purpose of curbing and paving..." June 3, 1816

[Lombard and Cedar, 1815]
3 right. "...Relief alley which lies between Lombard and Cedar Streets and runs E. and W. communicating with Front and Second Streets for curbing and paving..." September 11, 1815

4. "...Fayette Street and Prospect alley between ninth and tenth Streets and Mulberry and Filbert Streets for curbing and paving..." August 10th, 1815

5 left. "Clever alley which is situate between Delaware Fifth & 6th Streets at the distance of 140 feet South of Spruce Street..." July 31, 1816

5 right. "...Carpenter and Decatur Sts between Chestnut and High and sixth and seventh Sts for curbing and paving..." August 18, 1815

6 left. "Sassafras Street between Delaware 2d & 3d Streets... paving..." June 17, 1817

6 right. Second Street between Spruce and Pine. May 31, 1817

7 left. Quince Alley, between Walnut and Locust. July 25, 1818

7 right. Blackberry alley, between Locust and Spruce. July 25, 1818

7 insert. Fragment of a plan, High Street from Del. Second St. to Water Street, showing gradual decline from about 27 feet to 10 feet; no date but probably from same period. Shows outlines of Market House from between Del. Second and Del. Front St.

8 top. Fromberger's Court, in the Square between High and Mulberry Streets and between Delaware Second and Third Streets...Map also shows Hartung's alley running between the same two numbered streets. August 28, 1818

8 bottom. "...alley [Lawrence St] leading from Twelfth to Thirteenth Streets 180 [feet] north of High Street..." August 28, 1818

9 top. Chester alley, extends from Delaware 2nd and 3rd and Pine and Lombard... August 28, 1818

9 bottom. Alley (Academy St.] leading from tenth to Eleventh Streets, each end being 175[feet?] north of Mulberry Street...August 28, 1818
10. Shows block between tenth and Eleventh, Spruce and Locust; with Currant Alley (betw. Spruce and Locust) and Haliburton Court (same, just e. of Currant), and other unnamed courts and alleys. August 28, 1818

11. Details of the block between 9th and 10th, Locust and Spruce, showing Shield's ally, Raspberry alley, Watson's alley, Pryor's alley and (in pencil) Barley Alley, and several others unnamed. August 28, 1818

12. Details of block between 10th and 11th, Locust and Walnut, showing the following alleys: Poplar, Rose, Currant, Plumb, Thorn, Burd's. August 28, 1818

13. Details of the block between 11th and 12th, Spruce and Locust, including Quince Street, Mercer Street, Ormiston Court, Prosperous alley, Essex alley, Warren Street, and other unnamed alleys. September 14, 1818

14. Chestnut Street and, 125 feet south of Chestnut, Library Street, both between Delaware 5th and 4th Streets. October 27, 1818

15 top. Alley [Benezet Street pencilled in] between 11th and 12th, 141 feet south of Mulberry Street. May 12, 1819

15 bottom. Orange Street, 130 feet north of Spruce, between Delaware 7th and 8th. May 12, 1819

16 top. Branch Street, between Del. 3rd and 4th, 180 feet 2 inches north of Sassafras Street. May 14, 1819

16 bottom. Castle Street, between 10th and 11th streets, 184 feet north of Sassafras Street. July 3, 1819

17 top. Mark's Lane, between 11th and 12th Streets, 129 feet north of Cherry Street. July 3, 1819

17 bottom. Mary Street, from Delaware 6th and 7th, 90 feet north of Cedar Street. June 19, 1819

18 top. "Laurel Street continued," between Walnut and Spruce, extends from York Court to Pear Street, 280 feet west of Delaware 2nd Street. July 10, 1819

18 bottom. Lieper's Court, extends east from 11th Street, 136 feet south of Mulberry Street. July 12, 1819

19 top. "Lemon Street & James Street which are in the square between Sassafras & Vine streets and between Delaware 8th and Chester Streets..." August 20th, 1819

19 bottom. Matlack's Court, 305 feet west of Delaware Sixth, 120 feet north of Lombard Street. August 23, 1821

20. High Street, from Delaware 2nd to 4th, showing market house in both blocks. August 28, 1819

21 top. Sassafras between Del. 3rd and 4th. September 11, 1819

21 bottom. Walnut between Del. 3rd and 4th. September 8, 1819

22. Details of area between Walnut and Spruce, Del 3rd and Del 2nd, showing Laurel Street, York Court, Pear Street, Elmslie's alley, and a section of Dock Street, with the Custom House outlined. September 17/23, 1819

23. Details of block between 13th and 12th streets showing (north to south) Walnut Street, Lyndall's Alley, Weaver's Alley and Locust Street. June 15, 1820

24. Juniper alley and Juniper Lane, in the square between Walnut and George, 10th and 11th. July 7, 1820

25. Green's Court, from Pine to Spruce, between Del. 5th and 4th. June 15, 1820

26 top. Vine Street between Del. 5th and 4th, also showing Crown Street, between Del 5th and 4th. August 12, 1820

26 bottom. Ann Street between 13th and 12th, 152 feet north of Cedar. August 23, 1821

27. Two-page plan: "...Sewer commencing at Sarer's (Sauer's?) Brewery in Delaware 6th Street, and extending on the west side thereof to the south side of High Street, and along the south side of High Street to the Sewer at Delaware 4th Street..." June 29, 1820

28. Details of the block between Spruce and Pine, 13th and 12th, showing Deans Street running Spruce to Pine, and various unnamed alleys; looks like a subdivision plan done to lay out alleys before building. August 23, 1821

29. Details of block between Sassafras and Mulberry, Del Third and Del 2nd, showing Bread Street, Fetter Lane, and Quarry Street. August 23, 1821

30. (sewer) Shows sewer that, in two surveys on the dates noted below, was laid out to run from 100 feet south of Delaware 8th and Sassafras, east on Sassafras to just west of Del. 7th, then cutting across the North East Public Square to connect with an existing sewer in Del. 6th 206 feet south of Vine. August 23 and October 26, 1821

33. Plan of area between Del 4th and 2nd, Chestnut and Walnut, including west end of Dock Street and the various small streets and alleys between. March 8, 1824
38. Plan of Dock Street to Spruce Street, Delaware Front to river, including Water Street, including the open dock at the end of Dock Street, which was only 50 feet wide and at least 200 feet long [my estimate from plan; which partially explains to me why that Dock, which took a good proportion of the sewage of that part of the city, was often complained of as grossly polluted.] October 31, 1822

43. "...We did establish the dimensions, rate of descent and suitable openings of a sewer about to be made in Delaware seventh Street from the North side of High Street [110 Kb] to unite with a sewer already made about 120 feet south of Chestnut Street..." October 31, 1822

44 bottom. "...Sewer on High Street commencing on the East side of Ashton Street and extending diagonally across the said High Street to the North side thereof about 40 feet west of the said Ashton Street..." March 8, 1824

47 top. "...Sewer in Delaware fourth Street commencing on the north side of Mulberry the sewer already made at High Street..." March 8, 1824

51. "...Sewer at the east end of Pine St. and leading from the North to the South side of the said Street and thence into the river Delaware..." March 8, 1824

62 top. "...Sewer...along Vine Street from Delaware sixth to Tenth Street... [connecting with sewer already in Sixth Street]. October 14, 1826

62 bottom. "...sewer in Del. Fifth Street extending 260 feet south of Walnut, [to connect with sewer already in Walnut]. October 14, 1826

63. [great drawing, shows Dock Street sewer and others, in blue]
Sewer from Del 2nd and Pine, north on Pine to Little Dock Street, connecting with Dock Street sewer; built (it seems from two listings with drawing) in two phases. October 14, 1826; surveys done July and April 1825

66 top. Sewer in tenth street, from end of sewer already built [north of George Street] extending north to High Street. October 14, 1826

67 bottom. Shows Center or Penn Square, and vicinity

67 1/2. "A plan of that part of the City lying between High & Vine Streets and between Schl. 2nd St. and the River Schuylkill [315 Kb] ---accompanying the Report of the Mayor, Recorder & Aldermen, to the Select and Common Councils, dated the 23d. of November 1826."
��������Map shows low and high water marks, and a creek wending from its mouth near Mulberry to the block between Filbert and High, Schl. Front and Second.

70 bottom. "...Sewer extending from the north side of Chestnut Street along Hudson's Alley to a point about 200 feet south of the said Chestnut Street, where it discharges into the old sewer that connects with the Main Sewer in Dock Street..." October 20, 1828

Book No. 2

Volume wrapped in brown paper; title in my handwriting in pencil on spine. 87 pages, with various items inserted and pasted in. Listed only those plans that included sewers or creeks.

Attached in front:
"A draft of the wharves and property on the river Delaware--on each side of Walnut Street--Showing how a wharf may be made, so as to carry out the proposed Walnut Street sewer--and leave a large dock on the north side 40 feet in breadth, belonging to the City." Date missing, probably sometime around 1828

In front:
Sewer in Del. 5th Street connecting to sewer in Walnut Street. June 9, 1825

In front:
Sewer in Hudson's alley, south of Chestnut Street. 1827

1. "A plan describing the regulation of ascents and descents in Mulberry Street from Broad Street to the River Schuylkill--and in the adjoining streets between High and Sassafras Streets..." February 14, 1828
��������Shows sewer in Mulberry (Arch) Street, from Thirteenth to the Schuylkill; with a small branch going north 84 feet on Schl 8th; and another branch going north to Cherry Street on Schl. 4th. Plan gives diameter and descent of sewer above street plan. Drawing cut in half and pasted into the book in two pieces.

3 bottom. Sewer from Lane Street (just north of Filbert) down Del. 8th to near George Street, where it discharges into a branch of the Walnut Street sewer. October 20, 1828

12 (pasted in). A plan of drainage into Sassafras Street east of Delaware 4th St., and of the proposed sewer from 2nd Street eastward. July 8, 1835

12 (pasted in). A plan of street grades in Pine Street from Schuylkill Front St. to the Schuylkill River [194 Kb]. Shows a confusing array of topographical features before street grading. No date (ca. 1830).

12 main page. "A plan of that part of the City lying between High and Cedar Street and between Schuylkill Front Street and the River Schuylkill..." May 6, 1828
��������Shows small creek running from Beech and Pine to the river between Spruce and Pine.

19 main page. Sewer in Cedar Street, from existing sewer near Delaware Fourth to just west of Delaware Fifth. October 19, 1829
��������Drawing shows what looks like a double pipe. Each pipe looks to drain a different side of the street.

20 bottom. Juniper Street, from High Street to sewer in Mulberry Street. October 19, 1829

29 bottom. Sewer in High Street from Del. Front through Fish Market to the Public Wharf on the river. October 18, 1830.

32 top. Long, thin plan of Pine Street sewer, 4733 feet from Schuylkill 8th to the Schuylkill River. Shows cross-section, with original grade, present grade and the regulation curb height. October 18, 1830

34 top. Sewer in Schl 8th Street running 84 feet south to sewer in Mulberry Street. October 15, 1832

40. Sewer along Tenth from south to Sassafras to the sewer in Vine. October 15, 1832

41 top. Sewer in Schl 7th from High Street to main sewer in Mulberry Street. October 15, 1832

42. Sewer in Schl 6th to a point 320 feet north of Pine Street October 15, 1832

45. Plan of regulations of area from Schl 3rd to 8th, Sassafras to Vine. Includes sewer across Logan Square, and faint lines of two creeks that seem to run into this sewer. May 21, 1832

46. Plan showing Chestnut to Spruce, Ashton St. to the Schuylkill River. May 21, 1832

47 (insert). Sewer from Del 5th to 4th, twin pipe. no date

47 main page. Sewer along Schl 4th from main sewer in Mulberry Street then crossing Logan Square diagonally to Vine Street just west of Schl 5th. With cross section showing original and confirmed grade. October 15, 1832

49 bottom. Sewer in Del 8th from Lane Street (near Filbert) to Mulberry Street. October 15, 1832

50 top. Sewer in Schl 5th from 161 feet south of Lombard connecting to 8 foot diameter sewer in Pine Street. October 15, 1832

50 bottom. Sewer in Cedar Street from existing sewer at Del. 5th to Del 6th. October 15, 1832

52. Plan showing alterations in footways in Dock Street between Del 3rd and Walnut, including outline of Mercantile Exchange(??). Dec. 26th, 1832

54 bottom. Sewer in Del 3rd from Chestnut to the present sewer in Dock Street. Also shows sewer in Walnut Street from Del 3rd to Dock Street, and an "intended sewer" in Del 3rd from Dock Street to Walnut Street. May 6, 1834

55 top. Plan showing sewer in Del 6th beginning at Sassafras and crossing Vine. Aug. 23, 1833

55 bottom. Sewer in Schl 2nd from 122 feet south of Lombard connecting with sewer in Pine Street. March 12, 1834

58 insert. Sewer in Water Street from Dock Street sewer to a point 90 feet north. March 12, 1834

60 top. Sewer in Vine Street from Del Front to Delaware River October 19, 1835

67. Sewer in Sassafras Street from Del 2d to River. Partial plan; piece missing. Plan also shows in blue the drainage area for the proposed sewer. October 19, 1835

68. Sewer in High Street from Ashton Street to River Schuylkill. Includes cross section of sewer with present grade. August 5, 1835

69. Sewer in Pine Street from 262 feet west of Del 3rd , down Del 3rd to present sewer in Union Street, to replace sewer cutting diagonally from same starting point to Union Street. June 13, 1836

70. Plan of Dock and Spruce Streets from the river to Del 2nd showing wharves and dotted lines marking "rail road" ad "rail way." June 29, 1836

71. Sewer in High Street from Del 4th to Del 3rd and along same to Church alley. Also shows present sewer in Del 4th from High to Chestnut and extending off the plan on either end. June 24, 1836

72 bottom. "A plan describing the sewer in little Dock Street and shewing the one proposed to be made in lieu of that part of it which passes under the tobacco warehouse." Plan also shows part of present Dock Street sewer. July 23, 1836

75. Partial plan showing sewers along Del 8th beginning at Pine and running to Spruce Street Sewer, which runs to Del. 7th; Sewer in Del 7th, beginning at Pine and running to Washington Street, running east there and running off the plan. May 29, 1837

76 top. Sewer beginning in Del 6th from north of Prune to Walnut, and a piece of the Walnut Street sewer. June 29, 1837

76 bottom. Sewer approved in three sections: Del 5th High to Minor and along Minor to Del 6th, June 27, 1837...Minor to Chestnut along Del 6th, Oct 3, 1837...Minor to Chestnut along 5th, May 26, 1838

79. Rough sketch of sewer in Vine Street from Del 7th to 5th. May 26, 1838

80. Sewer in Del 5th from end of present sewer 260 feet south of Walnut to the south side of Spruce Street. With cross section. Sept. 10, 1838

81 (insert). Working plan (for construction) of sewer in Library Street, with cross section of an egg-shaped sewer and other details. May 5, 1851

83 top. Sewer in Lombard Street from west of Water Street to the Delaware River. November 8, 1838

83 bottom. Sewer along a public alley between Mulberry and Sassafras from Water Street to the Delaware River. April 23, 1839

84 top. Continuation of sewer described in 83-top, from west of Water Street to west side of Penn Street, about 170 feet in length. May 7, 1839

87. Sewer in Sassafras Street from Nicholson's alley 170 feet westward, to connect with sewer already made in Del. 7th street. Sept. 26, 1839

Regulations of Ascents & Descents
Book No. 3

��������This volume, mostly from the 1840s, was water-damaged and, in order to salvage it, was cut up and the separate pieces encapsulated. It was shown to me by archivist Jefferson Moak in 1998, at which time it had not been catalogued.
��������The maps were prepared by City surveyors as proposals for grade changes, sewer construction, etc. to be presented to the City Councils. Most are signed by the surveyor, and include a note from the Clerk of Councils giving what is probably the date of passage of the ordinance approving the construction. This does not mean that the sewers were actually built at that time, but is one indication of it. It does indicate that the sewers, and all the other proposals included in the plans, were deemed a necessary part of plan of the City, as the surveyors saw it.
��������Below are the plans in this collection that include sewers. Dates given for the note from the Clerk are marked Ord.; otherwise the date is that which the surveyor either made the survey or drew up the plan. The plans are filed under their modern street names, though the old names are used on the plans themselves. Items are filed alphabetically, corresponding with the first letter in the listing.

Arch St., Juniper to Broad St., Grades [shows sewer]: Aug. 9, 1843
Arch Street, Front to Delaware River: Ord. July 6, 1848
Arch St., Inlet Estimates [cost estimates for sewer inlet construction]: 1843
Arch St,, 13th to Broad Sts., Sewer: Ord. July 20, 1827 [?]
Arch St., SW corner Sixth St., Inlet: no date
Chancellor St., American to Dock St., Sewer: Ord. April 27, 1848
Delancey St., 2nd to 3rd Sts., Sewer Ord. July 16th, 1840
Drainage Area Plan: Race-Chestnut, Broad-Marshall: "Draft showing the quantity of water flowing into 4th St. sewer". no date
Fifteenth St., Locust to Spruce Sts., Sewer Ord. Aug. 29, 1844
Fifteenth St., Arch to Cherry Sts., Sewer: Ord. July 6, 1848
Filbert St., Water to Delaware Ave., Sewer: Ord. April 24, 1845
Fourth St., Arch to Cherry Sts., Sewer: May 13, 1846
Juniper St., Arch to Cherry Sts., Sewer: May 20, 1847
Locust St., 5th St. West, Sewer: Sept. 22, 1847
Ludlow St., 7th St. East, Sewer: Ord. Aug. 27, 1840
Market St. [to] Delaware River, Plan [shows culvert]: April 11, 1849
Market St., 10th to 11th Sts, Sewer: 1848
Market St., 15th to 16th Sts., Sewer: Ord. Sept. 9, 1841
Market St., 22nd to 23rd Sts., Sewer: Ord. April 10, 1845
Orianna St., Chestnut St. North, Sewer: Ord. April 28, 1842
Pine St. [to] Delaware River, Sewer: Ord. Nov. 7, 1823
Quarry St., 8th to Hutchinson Sts., Sewer: Ord. June 25, 1840
Race St., Bread to 3rd Sts., Sewer: Ord. July 6, 1848
Second St., Delancey to South Sts., Sewer: "yards of surface drained into second n. of Pine": no date
Second St., Pine to Dock Sts., Sewer: Ord. April 20, 1826
Second St., Little Dock St., Dock St. Sewer: [portion of larger document; remainder missing]: no date
Seventeenth St., Locust to Spruce Sts., Sewer: Sept. 24, 1845
Sixth St., Spruce to Pine Sts., Sewer: Ord. June 9, 1847
Sixth St., Spruce to Locust Sts., Sewer: Ord. June 24, 1840
Sixth St., Sewer, Walnut to Sansom, and Sansom, Sixth to Swanwick: Ord. Aug. 17, 1848
South St., 13th to Broad, Sewer: Ord. June 5, 1845
Summer St., Water to Delaware Ave., Sewer: Ord. Sept. 24, 1840
Spruce St., 2nd St. intersection, sewer [rough drawing]: July 2, 1852
Tenth St., Market to Sansom Sts., Sewer: Ord. May 19, 1826
Thirteenth St., Spruce to Pine St., Sewer: Ord. April 27, 1843
Twelfth St., Lombard to South Sts., Sewer: July 26, 1845
Twenty-First St., Lombard to South, Sewer: March 27, 1845
Vine St., Front to Delaware River, Sewer: Date of Survey: April 6, 1830: Ord.: June 12, [either 1834, 1831 or 1830]
Walnut St., 11th to 12th Sts., Sewer: Ord. May 26, 1842